Saturday, June 6, 2015

Toon Legends: Popeye vs. Bluto at the Rodeo (Rodeo Romeo, 1946)

Before we get started, allow me to make a correction from an earlier post.

Jack Mercer, long regarded as the definitive voice of Popeye, was actually the 2nd man to essay the part. Billy Costello was the original, and Mercer took his place. In the mid-40's, Mercer took a leave of absence, and, after castmates Mae Questel (yes, it's true), and Jackson Beck filled in, a fellow named Harry Foster Welch took over. In one instance, Mercer & Welch shared the part, with Welch finishing what Mercer had started.

Welch's characterization of Popeye is closer to that of Costello, as demonstrated in 1946's "Rodeo Romeo", in which Bluto (Beck) is a star attraction. Of course, there's sparks between he & Olive (Questel), which makes Popeye jealous to the point where he decides, anything he can do, I can do better. You know how this will end.

Looking at it with a more mature, experienced eye today, I can say that this is a little contrived. Par for the course.

Rating: B-.

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